Cape Buffalo are strong, massive, hulks living in sub-Saharan Africa. Also called the African buffalo, they are known to be unpredictable and dangerous in encounters with humans and other animals. These imposing creatures have few predators.
They are bovines, generally found in clusters or in herds, but never domesticated.
Sometimes there are too many to count.
His look seems to say, “Don’t get too close or else.”
One is exactly the number of gnu, also called wildebeest, I photographed in Botswana. Being wary animals and fast runners, many others eluded me. The gnu is another of the large antelope species native to Southern Africa.
Loosely separated from its herd, this gnu is taking a break from grazing on the African savanna.
Zebras are wild equines native to southern and eastern Africa. Famous for their stripes, it has been said that no two are alike.
This mountain zebra, one of the three species of zebras, stopped and looked my way from a ridgeline in central Namibia.
These three are plains zebras, the species I saw frequently in Botswana. A “dazzle” is the name for a group of zebras and these animals do dazzle with their dramatic stripes and their powerful bodies. I actually think the zebra on the right might be pregnant.
A trio of plains zebras blend into this Botswana landscape.
Is this zebra love?
I wonder what these plains zebras are talking about. Is it a serious topic?
The impala antelope, which we saw frequently in Botswana, is sprightly, graceful, and swift. You can easily identify it by the black patches above the hooves on the hind legs. These are scent glands, covered with tufts of black hair, which give chemical signals to herd members and may be especially important during a chase.
These impalas appear to be jumping for joy!
In Botswana, we frequently saw lechwe antelopes staring back at us, darting across the bush, or sometimes sparring with each other. Lechwe have varying hues of golden brown fur with white bellies. I didn’t catch one darting…..
but this male is giving me a good look.
These two young males are, we were told, “play fighting”, which involved locking their impressive, spiral horns over and over again. At first, I was skeptical about the fight being playful, but after a few minutes they both gave it up and went their separate ways.
This is my one-and-only photo of a sable antelope, which I had never heard of before and only saw once while on a safari in Botswana.
This beautiful and powerful-looking antelope inhabits the savannahs of eastern and southern Africa.
Later in the morning (see last post), we got a taste of animals being less complacent.
This hippo was not making adorable and leisurely snorts like the ones at sunrise. It looks mad as hell, probably at us!
And this female lion didn’t want to share a cape buffalo leg she had carried off from the kill site. It’s as if she is saying, “Mine!”
Our first Botswana camp bordered an inlet populated with hippos whose vocalizations were such a novelty to us. We fell asleep listening to them snort and make bubbling sounds in the water.
Then, in the morning, the rising sun silhouetted their ears poking out of the water.
The first creatures I saw after arriving in Botswana were two birds native to southern Africa.
The first was the Burchell’s glossy starling, which gets its iridescence from a special structure in its feathers that acts as a prism and refracts light.
This exotic beauty, an Egyptian goose, with Hollywood-worthy eye makeup appears to be performing a repertoire on a balance beam.
What a welcoming committee! We met up with these guys, free to roam wherever they choose, not long after we landed.
They might be thinking who the heck are you and why are you here?
We spent at least a half-hour with a group of giraffes, including these two lounging beside an acacia tree.